Come, Lord Jesus! has been enthusiastically endorsed by numerous priests and bishops and has received a special Papal blessing by Pope Benedict XVI! Come, Lord Jesus! has been referred to as the best method ever seen in promoting small faith communities by global comparison.
Diocese of Lafayette
Peace and joy in Jesus, our risen Savior.
I have reviewed this digital Come, Lord Jesus! material and find the program to have an immense potential for evangelizing our Catholics. This time-proven spiritual and scriptural formation program (since 1969) uses the Sunday liturgical cycle of readings to teach the Bible and to prepare our people for Sunday Mass, parish ministry, and virtuous living.
Through the power of God’s word in an atmosphere of prayer and loving community, Come, Lord Jesus! members testify to the programs success in developing a strong, personal love for Jesus, in firing up the lukewarm and in stirring up the apathetic to a fervent zeal. They sincerely desire to make the Lord Jesus know and loved.
The Come, Lord Jesus! Program uses the same method inspired by the Holy Spirit in the Acts of the Apostles to maintain the fervor and zeal of the early Church after the outpouring of the Spirit. This method consists of four elements: Prayer, Scripture, Eucharist, and Fellowship (see Acts 2:42).
Come, Lord Jesus! was developed through a process of experimentation (1969-1974) with and for our own people (youth and adult) by one of our own diocesan priests, Father Conley Bertrand. It has proven itself to be a most effective instrument for the continuous conversion and transformation of its members into Christ, the image of God. (See 2 Cor 3:18; 4; 4).
It is my fervent wish that you would take this opportunity to review this digital material of Come, Lord Jesus! and consider the implementation of this program in your parish during these time of such great need for evangelization. Implementing this program only requires that you motivate and encourage your people from the pulpit to join-the rest of the organizing and maintenance will be done by Come, Lord Jesus! at no cost to the parish.
May God extend his blessings on you for this holy purpose. With prayers for your good health and for all of Gods blessings, I am
Sincerely yours in Our Lord
Most Reverend Michael Jarrell
Bishop of Lafayette
Rev. Michael Russo
I have been involved with Come, Lord Jesus! for over 22 years. My experience is two-fold-both meeting with brother priests on a weekly basis for an abbreviated version of the Come, Lord Jesus! format, and overseeing weekly Come, Lord Jesus! bible studies in the three parishes in which I have served as pastor.
The benefits to having Come, Lord Jesus! bible study groups are numerous. Among them is the fact that, having reflected on the Sunday Readings, parishioners come to Mass with open and receptive hearts, eager to be active participants in the Sacred Liturgy. There is nothing more discouraging for a priest than to celebrate Mass with a lukewarm congregation – not so with Come, Lord Jesus! parish family.
The second greatest benefit I have found with Come, Lord Jesus! is that a parish becomes more virtuous. Come, Lord Jesus! members are less critical and judgmental of others. Members strive to live the Christian virtues and bring positive energy into parish dynamics. A critical spirit is quickly stifled due to their influence.
Our Lady of Fatima has ten Come, Lord Jesus! groups meeting on a weekly basis, with well over one hundred parishioners involved. In Lent, with wonderful Lenten version of Come, Lord Jesus! is that it tends to run itself. It is an activity that does not require tedious additional work on the simple structure and format of the program, it makes it highly effective and enduring. Once “things” are set in motion, Come, Lord Jesus! sails smoothly along, changing many lives along the way.
I consider myself truly blessed to have been introduced to Come, Lord Jesus! early on in my ministry, and I am grateful to God for both the personal fruits I have experienced, and the reward that comes to a pastor’s heart when he sees his parishioners growing in holiness.
Rev. Michael J. Russo
St. Ann Roman Catholic Church
I had an opportunity to present a research paper on “Origin and Growth of Small Faith Communities” at a theological conference in 2010 in India. I learned that Latin American countries developed “Lumko series”, while East Africa developed “Seven Steps Prayer” method which is adapted in Asian countries. In Europe “At your Word Lord” is popular in some places while in North American countries in the context of the call given by Pope St. John Paul II for New Evangelization, many dioceses restructured their parishes into small communities with the banners “Valley Missionary Program” , “Renew 2000” , “Jesus Friend”, etc. But after coming to Lafayette I have understood that the method developed by Fr. Conley Bertrand, “Come, Lord Jesus!” is the best method I have ever seen in promoting Small Faith Communities.
Basically SFCs are concerned about sharing the gospel reading, praying together, and sharing the witness they had encountered in that week. But the method evolved by Fr.Conley is unique, because it has a well planned questionnaire on the gospel or other readings which enable the participants to respond well. This sharing truly prepares one to attend the Sunday Mass prayerfully and fruitfully. The references from the Catechism of the Catholic Church open wide horizons to have knowledge of the teachings of the church. The chosen Scriptural passages for the Apostolate and the Second coming of Jesus orientate the participants to examine their conscience for the commitment of the gospel theme. This method is easier than other methods found in other countries. On the whole, it gives ample opportunity to have the right encounter of Jesus.
No doubt, “Come, Lord Jesus” is the timely instrument and God given gift to the diocese of Lafayette to bring the laity into ministries and mission of the church as desired by Vatican Council II. By promoting “Come, Lord Jesus” in our parishes there are greater chances to get to know the bible, to become praying community, to love one another and thus lead a witnessing life to the gospel values.
Fr. Alphonse Thainese
Fr Thainese, an associate in St Ann, Mamou has been involved in promoting Small Faith Communities in his diocese and the region in India; his doctoral dissertation in on “Building the Local Church with the Participation of the Laity” with a special emphasis to Small Faith Communities